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Creating Color Palettes

Consistently formulating appealing color combinations requires a deep understanding of color theory as well as color harmonies. The most basic harmonies are covered in upcoming articles, but you can find additional details with a bit of research. Color harmonies are a fail-proof way to begin developing your own signature color palettes. First, you need to understand the difference between a hue, tint, shade, and tone, as explained below.

Useful Color Terms

A color is a color, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple when you venture into the realm of mixing colors, creating complex palettes, or understanding why certain colors coordinate better than others. The following terms are helpful in understanding the difference between various colors.


Colors in their most pure form, without any lightness or darkness added. Example pictured: Qualatex Dark Blue


A hue mixed with white, making it lighter. Example pictured: Qualatex Pale Blue


A hue mixed with black, making it darker. Example pictured: Qualatex Navy


A hue mixed with white and black (or gray), making it less vibrant. Example pictured: Qualatex Custom Double-stuff Color “Meditation Mist”

Color Harmonies

When designing a bouquet or decor, the goal is to create color harmony. The four most basic color harmonies, taught in the Qualatex Balloon Network curriculum, are monochromatic, analogous, complementary, and triadic. Having a good understanding of these harmonies will set you on the path for creating eye-catching designs. Read through the following four articles to better understand the characteristics and benefits of each individual color harmony.